Imago Dalmatiae. Itinerari di viaggio dal Medioevo al Novecento

Bocche di Cattaro

"[From Budua] Two hours' quiet run along a very pretty coast brought us into the jaws of three huge fortresses - Santa Rosa and Punto d'Ostro on each side, Rondone on an islet, with distant glimpses of others close at hand; this is the entrance to the famous Bocche di Cattaro. […]. It is 24 miles in length, and takes about four hours and a half to pass through in the steamer. […].

It is about two hours hence to Cattaro, along a winding fiord of great beauty: the sudden changes from lake-like width of waters to narrow passages of nearly-meeting shores, gives a vast variety of views which compensate for some monotony of form and colour. To so narrow a space have the waters in one place become contracted, that the wire of the telegraph is flung from side to side, and very pretty it is to see the grossamer thread hanging, apparently, in the sky, as the steamer glides underneath it. Close to the water's edge are cottages and villas, coloured white, pink, yellow, and sometimes sky-blue, each in its garden and bosquet of citron trees, flowers, and fruit; above these rise the vineyards and mulberry terraces, which break the tediousness of the continual olive groves. There are also Judas trees, and a few plane trees, which all contrast very beautifully with the abrupt walls of hard, whitish-grey rocks, rising directly above them, and frowning loftily down upon the otherwise lovely fiord. The Bocche di Cattaro are more cheerful and gay-looking than the longer and less winding gulf of Smyrna; but I cannot help thinking that the utterly barren whiteness of these much loftier mountains makes this strait far less lovely. […].

All along the eastern coast from Perasto to Cattaro is one long straggling village, called Dobrota, like every village here occupied by mariners; in fact, one seldom enquires the birthplace of any officer on board an Austrian steamer, that he does not mention one or other of these villages, whereto he intends to retire for the end of his days. They are just the pretty, homely, happy-looking and peculiarly-situated spots that one can imagine would secure the passionate affections of their natives" (101-104).